Science: Steam & Power Politics

Steam at the highest pressure in history drives a new turbine near South Bend, Ind., with such efficiency that the private U.S. power industry anticipates a revolution in the production—and, they hope, the politics—of electricity.

The turbine's initial steam pressure of 2,300 lb. per sq. in surpasses highest previous pressures for U.S. central stations by a good 900 lb. Superheated to 940° F., the blasting steam operates the turbine at 3,600 r.p.m., can turn out 76,500 kilowatts. It converts one pound of mediocre Indiana soft coal (11,500 B.t.u.) into one kilowatt hour of electricity.*

Since the average U.S. turbine now requires two-thirds...

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